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This is an archived syllabus from 2013-2014

COMP33512 User Experience syllabus 2013-2014

COMP33512 User Experience

Level 3
Credits: 10
Enrolled students: 108

Course leader: Simon Harper

Additional staff: view all staff

Assessment methods

  • 70% Written exam
  • 30% Coursework
Sem 2 Lecture 1.3 Wed 10:00 - 10:00 -
Sem 2 Workshop IT407 Wed 10:00 - 10:00 -
Themes to which this unit belongs
  • Interactive Systems Design
  • Software Engineering


User Experience (UX or UE) is often conated with usability but takes its lead from the emerging discipline of experience design (XD). In reality, this means that usability is often thought of as being within the technical domain. Often being responsible for engineering aspects of the interface or interactive behaviour by building usability paradigms directly into the system. On the other hand user experience is meant to convey a wider remit which does not just primarily focus on the interface but other psychological aspects of the use behaviour.


The aim of the unit is to give the student: tools, techniques, and the mindset necessary to competently approach their first user testing and user experience job. The unit is designed from a practical perspective and will enable the student to take up a junior role in a user experience department, or usability company, and provide them with the overview knowledge to communicate with others and make sensible suggestions regarding UX work. The unit is not intended to be a comprehensive treaties of the subject - indeed this could not be accomplished in such a short space of time - however, it will provide the basis for the students future study within the domain.


The unit comprises twenty-one teaching sessions with one extra for the covering of revision topics. Students will be expect to devote further time for their own study and for the completion of their coursework. The twenty-one traditional lectures will be interspersed with four discussion lectures in which the material for the coursework will be discussed. The majority of this material will be covered by directed reading followed by discussion. Coursework work will take the form of a critique of the students previous Software Engineering HCI focused work, along with 3 x 250 word discussions of key UX topics.

The unit will progress as follows:

'Everything is Wrong!':

1. What is UX? Why is it Important? What does the UX landscape look like? What will be covered in the unit? What will not be covered? How will you be examined and how will the work be presented?

2. Discussion Topic: Law, Effie Lai-Chong and Roto, Virpi and Hassenzahl, Marc and Vermeeren, Arnold P.O.S. and Kort, Joke (2009). Understanding, scoping and dening user experience: a survey approach Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, 1 (1), 719-728 :10.1145/1518701.1518813.

Developing with the User in Mind:

3. Methodologies and lifecycles; and

4. Requirements Elicitation & Analysis

User Centred Design / User Experience Design:

5. The UX Design Process; and the

6. Outputs of Design (Use Cases, Stories, Scenarios, Personas, Wireframes, Flows, Audits, and Mock-ups).

Effective Use:

7. People, Perception, Cognition, and Barriers; and

8. Accessibility Principles and Practice. Effcient Use:

9. Usability, Developing the Interface, and Standards and Guidelines; and

10. Discussion Topic: Smith, D. C., E. F. Harslem, C. H. Irby, R. B. Kimball, and W. L. Verplank. Designing the Star User Interface. Byte, April 1982.

Emotional Design:

11. Affective Computing; and

12. Discussion Topic: Norman, D A, Emotional Design: People and Things - abstracted at design people and things.html.

Digital Umami:

13. Designing the Experience; and

14. Playfulness, Gamication, and Funology.


15. Scientic Method, Planning Experiments: Formative and Summative Investigations, Sampling,

Participant Selection and Recruitment, and Research Ethics; and

16. Qualitative and Quantitative Methods. Analysis and Reporting:

17. Analysis and Reporting; and

18. Descriptive Statistics.

UX in the Real World:

19. Real World Problems; and

20. Discussion Topic: Voice loops as cooperative aids in space shuttle mission control, Watts, Jennifer C. and Woods, David D. and Corban, James M. and Patterson, Emily S. and Kerr, Ronald L. and Hicks, LaDessa C., 1996.


21. The Unit Revision Lecture; and

22. Variance: Just in case something goes wrong or we take longer than expected to cover the topics.

Feedback methods

Feedback is via face to face communications, written feedback for coursework assignments, and for informal discussions twitter.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam (2 hours)
  • Lectures (24 hours)

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Innovation/creativity
  • Problem solving
  • Research
  • Written communication

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

Learning outcomes are detailed on the COMP33512 course unit syllabus page on the School of Computer Science's website for current students.

Reading list

No reading list found for COMP33512.

Additional notes

Course unit materials

Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.

Links related to COMP33512